Recognizing Sexual Rights: Eradicating Stigma and Discrimination, Part 1

Most human beings share a common need for “something more, something greater in our lives.” That something more may take different forms depending on the individual – better health, more wealth, better business outcomes, more time, more leisure activity, more fulfilling relationships, more or better sex, homeownership, a more fulfilling job or maybe just a job, a deeper connection with our spiritual core, greater self expression.

This driving need for a better quality of living can only be realized, however, to the extent that we succeed in creating a world that honors and embraces the vast and richly colorful diversity that is the human race. A world where stigma and discrimination have no place. A world where the sexual rights and human rights of all are respected and upheld.

To a large extent this is the world that IPPF/WHR and its Member Associations strive to build in the communities that we serve on issues of sex and sexuality – issues that unfortunately seem often to breed division and bias.  Yet, undoubtedly, the healthy expression of one’s sexuality is fundamental to one’s well-being, one’s ability to carve out a more satisfying life, and one’s ability to contribute to the growth and development of society. Building healthy human psyches serves not only to prop up today’s societies, but forms the bedrock on which tomorrow’s generations will thrive.  

In the words of former IPPF Secretary General Halfdan Mahler, “Those who aim at creating change, take on the challenge of bringing together extremes.” With unrelenting persistence, and an uncompromising passion, the IPPF has undertaken the challenge of building global recognition of sexual rights as human rights as it works toward  decreasing stigma and discrimination; improving access to sexual and reproductive health services and increasing the recognition of sexuality as a positive aspect of human life.


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